Nevada County budget watch: Committee to meet Monday to discuss shortfalls | SierraSun.com

Nevada County budget watch: Committee to meet Monday to discuss shortfalls

Kyle Magin
Special to the Sun

NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. and#8212; Just four months into its budget year, Nevada County is facing a revenue shortfall that likely will result in even deeper cuts than anticipated.

A county government budget committee is slated to meet Monday to address those shortfalls that have already seen county CEO Rick Haffey reduce his own pay by 9 percent and lay off four administrative employees.

The revenue shortfall is coming mostly in property taxes, which account for an estimated 55 percent of the county’s income. Property values dropped by as much as 30 percent from a 2005 high, Assessor Jim Dal Bon said Wednesday.

The county already has reduced its workforce by nearly 80 positions since June, 2009 (913 positions to 832 today). The recent layoffs are expected to save $250,000 annually.

County spending also has dropped from $191 million in 2008-09 to a current budget of $182 million.

Board Chairman Nate Beason is hopeful the budget committee will close the gap, he said. and#8220;And I’m sure we’ll work to keep the county in the black,and#8221; he added Wednesday.

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Payroll accounts for nearly half ($87.2 million) of the county’s expenses. Seven union bargaining units represent county employees, and labor contracts include as much as a 3 percent pay raise for some employees this year, although several managers and front-line employees have turned down pay raises, according to county officials.

The Monday budget committee meeting, which is closed to the public, will be held at the Eric W. Rood Administrative Center at 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City.